Water retention, also known as oedema in the medical universe, is a condition where water accumulates in the interstitial spaces of your body and does not drain out, leading to the puffy appearance of that part of the body.
The most common cause of water retention is infection-induced inflammation. But there are cases where you can develop oedema in the body without an accompanying infection in the area. Such as in diabetes foot, pregnancy, increased water intake, and long journeys where you are seated for too long, leading to venous pooling in your legs.
How To Recognize If You Have Water Retention
Legs are the most common site of water retention, since it is difficult for your leg muscles to push the deoxygenated blood in your veins back towards your heart. But other sites of the body can develop oedema too.
So, if you have developed puffiness in a certain part of your body, here's a simple technique to determine if you are suffering from water retention or if it is accumulation of fat.
- 1. Press your thumb into the area and hold for 2-3 minutes.
- 2. Release the pressure and remove your thumb.
3. If the indentation springs back immediately and becomes smooth, then you do not have oedema. But if the indentation takes at least 2-3 minutes to return to its original smooth state, then you definitely have water retention in that part of your body.
The following are simple home remedies for water retention that can help you get rid of it fast.
#1 Chopped Raw Garlic
The simplest way to get rid of water retention is to chop up a few raw garlic pods and then chew on them on an empty stomach.
Since garlic is a diuretic, chewing on them will flush out excess water and toxins from your body through your kidneys. Plus, the chemical compounds in raw garlic can help you lose weight too, so you can kill two birds with one stone!
Just remember: Chewing on raw garlic will permeate a horrendous odour in your mouth. So, make sure you use a mouthwash or chew on a few mint leaves afterward to get rid of your bad breath.
#2 Fennel Seed Tea
Fennel seeds contain a powerful compound in them called anethole, which has diuretic properties, and therefore, it can help flush out the excess water accumulated in your body and reduce your systolic blood pressure.
To prepare this tea, you will need:-
- 1 tbsp of Fennel seeds
- 2 cups of Water
- Boil the water in a saucepan and take it off the flame.
Add the fennel seeds to this water and cover the saucepan with a lid.
Allow the seeds to steep in the water for at least 15-20 minutes.
Then, strain out the liquid and drink it lukewarm.
Have it twice a day to speed up the process of water elimination.
#3 Warm Lemon Water
Again, lemon water (without salt or sugar) is a powerful diuretic and antioxidant capable of flushing out excess water and toxins from your body.
To prepare this, squeeze half a lemon in one tall glass of lukewarm water. Stir until the juice has uniformly dissolved in the water. Drink this twice a day on an empty stomach for best result.
#4 Ice Pack
Place a few cubes of ice in a cloth or ice pack and then apply this to the swollen area in intervals of 10 minutes with a gap of 10 minutes in between. Do this for one hour. Make sure the cloth is thick enough to prevent a frostbite.
Caution: This technique is contraindicated for people suffering from diabetes and low blood pressure, as it can lead to serious complications.
#5 Raw Onion
Like garlic, raw onions are good diuretic agents that can bring down your blood pressure, restore your sodium-water balance, and get rid of excess water in your body. So, chop them and have them raw at least twice in a day on an empty stomach to get rid of your oedema.
#6 Coriander Seed Tea
Like fennel seeds, coriander seeds are great diuretic agents as well.
You will need:-
- 1 tbsp of coriander seeds
1 cup of water
- Add the water to a saucepan and heat it over medium flame.
Add the coriander seeds and boil them in the water until the water reduces by half.
Strain out the tea and drink it lukewarm, three times in a day.
Bananas are rich in potassium, which is the mineral that balances out sodium in our body. So, if you are suffering from water retention, have at least three large bananas a day to increase your potassium level and help flush out the accumulated water fast.
#8 Soaked Raisins
Raisins are rich in potassium as well. So, soak a handful in a bowl of water overnight, and then have them the next day, once they have swollen up completely.
#9 Reduce Your Salt Intake
If you usually eat food with a lot of salt in it, you need to cut it out completely (by switching to a fruit and vegetable diet) or reduce your intake drastically.
This is important because salt increases water retention in our body. And so when we cut it out, the water accumulated in the interstitial spaces tends to flush out on its own as well.
Have a bowl of yoghurt before every meal on an empty stomach to help reduce the water retained in your tissue spaces.
This is because yoghurt is rich in milk proteins, and therefore, it is very good at absorbing water and in preventing it from leaking out of the vessels into our tissues.
#11 Dandelion Tea
Dandelion leaves contain a large number of medicinal compounds in them that can flush out excess water accumulated in our body, improve the function of our kidney, liver, and gut, and improve our overall health.
To prepare this tea, you will need:-
- Dandelion leaves
- 2 cups of Water
- 1 spoon of Honey
- Boil the water in a saucepan and add a teaspoon of honey to it.
Take it off the flame and add the dandelion leaves to this water.
Cover the lid and let the liquid steep for 5 minutes.
Caution: Diabetics should not try this remedy, as dandelion leaves are known to cause side effects in them.
#12 Parsley Tea
Parsley is a strong antioxidant that can force excess sodium and water out of your body along with other toxins.
To prepare this, you just need to boil a few parsley leaves in 1 cup of water for a few minutes and then strain it out before drinking. Have this thrice in a day for best results.
#13 Cranberry Juice
Have a tall glass of cranberry juice once a day to reverse the water retained in your body, as cranberries are diuretics with the ability to balance out the fluids in your body.
#14 Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a warm glass of water and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning to get rid of your oedema.
This works because apple cider vinegar stocks up your potassium level and reduces the sodium and water level in your body.
#15 Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is a special type of salt capable of drawing out toxins and extra water from your body.
To use it, fill a bucket with warm water and dissolve one tablespoon of Epsom salt in it. Then, dip the affected part of your body in this solution for at least 10-15 minutes. Do this once a day.
Alternatively, you can even fill your bathtub with warm water, add the salt, and then take a bath in the Epsom salt to get rid of your water retention.
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